Fowler & Company helps leaders build great organizations and better lives; for themselves and their teams. We do this by helping our clients in three primary areas of focus; Strategy + Execution; Performance Excellence and Executive Coaching.

Who is Curt Fowler?

When wonderful changes happen in your life it is time to update the about me section of your website. If you’ve read this before, scroll to the bottom to learn about our exciting changes!


 

One of my online mentors writes about the importance of a good “about me” section on your website. I always focused my website and my content on being “about my clients” and avoided the about me section.

What I missed in that train of thought is that people do business with people, not corporations. Therefore, to build relationships we must get over the usual “what do you do for a living” conversations that men always revert to and start talking about who we are and why we do what we do.

That is what I want to talk about today.
Read more…

Intellectual Property for Bloggers – Part Deux

Don’t steal other people’s stuff.

As bloggers we can all be caught with little to write about, but taking other people’s work is not the right fix.

In this blog, I’ll show you how to get inspired by others work, give them proper credit and still get your post out on time. Go here to start with the first post of this series.

Battle

People love to have their content shared. People have been “repurposing” ideas since the beginning of time. Read more…

Intellectual Property for Bloggers

The world of knowledge has changed dramatically over the past 15 years.

Information is more widely available than ever.

Knowledge that was once locked away in libraries is now readily available and at our fingertips via the internet.

copy

Many argue that this “democratization” of knowledge is an infringement on the original author’s rights. Read more…

Welcome Team Fowler’s Newest Member!

“A new baby is like the beginning of all things – wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.”

Eda J. Le Shan

He’s blue eyed (at least for now).

He’s got dark brown hair.

Weighs in at 8 pounds, 0 ounces.

Hobbies currently include eating, sleeping, pooping and peeing all over mom & dad.

Please welcome our latest addition …. Graham Fowler!

Graham

This has been far from an easy pregnancy which makes us even more excited to welcome our little man into the world! Read more…

What Murphy Could Do Better

Last week we talked about what a great job Murphy USA does with their customer engagement system.

This week we are going to take a more critical look at their process and see what they can do better. While Murphy is a great example of how to establish a customer engagement program, there are several thing you’ll want to change if you are following their example.

Murpheys

  1. Shorter Survey – Their survey was way, and I mean WAY too long! If I wasn’t so curious about the process they would have lost me about 4 questions into the survey.

    There are only two things that could keep the average customer plugging through a survey this long; 1) the prospect of $100 of free gas or 2) nearly insane curiosity about customer engagement.

    Most people don’t have #2, so I hope the possibility of $100 of free gas keeps customers plugging through Murphy’s survey.
    I wonder what their bailout rate is.

    Why not try just asking the Net Promoter question and why?
    I think they would see a lot more completed surveys if they did.

  2. They Didn’t Ask Me How To Improve – I’m sure Murphy already knows their customers’ key requirements, but it always makes me feel better as a consumer if you ask my opinion on what needs to be changed.

    Simply asking the Net Promoter Question and why would have covered this. If I was a raving fan, I’d tell them what to keep doing. If I was less impressed, I would have told them how to improve.

  3. Show Me You Listened – They didn’t show me what they do with my input. Yes, I wanted the shot at the free gas, but make me feel like a part of the team by telling me what you do with the feedback.

    Michael Hyatt is a great example of this with his annual reader survey. Each year his asks his readers for their opinions and suggestions and then writes a very detailed blog post stating what he learned and how he is going to change what he does because of what he heard.

    Three key things. He heard. He acted on what heard. He let his readers know that they were heard and that what they said was going to change how he does business.

    That is the golden rule of customer engagement. Listen. Act. Communicate.

Read more…

Learning About Customer Service from a Gas Station

I’m a bit of gas station food & drink aficionado.

I’m pretty sure it all started with the “Kangaroo” station in Athens that always had a two hot dog and jumbo fountain drink deal for $1.99. It was staple in my diet for most of my years there.

Once I moved back to my hometown of Valdosta, GA, I was very disappointed in the gas station selection. No Circle K, no RaceTrac. We were suffering.

Then came Murphy Express. I had never heard of the brand before, but they were a bright light in a town desperate for some good gas stations. The service was excellent, stores clean, the employees were “almost” Chick-fil-A caliber and the Icees and fountain Diet Mountain Dew were priced just right. That is saying a lot for a gas station! Read more…

Sitting is Killing You… And Making You Fat!

“Sitting increases risk of death up to 40%!”

As many of you do, I sit a lot.

A greater and greater percentage of American jobs (and most all of the high income jobs) are “knowledge” jobs.

Knowledge jobs generally have us sitting for most of the day.

In fact, the average person sits for 9.3 hours per day. That is more time that we spend sleeping (7.7 hours).

All this sitting is killing us.

A recent study found that if you sit 6+ hours per day you are 40% more likely to die within the next 15 years than someone who sits less than 3.

And going to the gym doesn’t counteract the ill that sitting does to your body.

In a previous article on the health habits of the Amish, we noted that their active lifestyles were a key factor in their health. This new information shines a much brighter spotlight on the damage that sitting causes.

sitting

A few more scary stats before we get to the solution:

  • Each extra hour of TV watching increases your death risk by 11%.
  • Those who sit watching TV 3 hours or more per day are 64% more likely to die from heart disease.
  • Obese people sit for 2.5 more hours per day than thin people.

What happens when you sit? Read more…

Training for Emotional Intelligence at Starbucks

“At best, IQ contributes about 20% to the factors that determine success, which leaves 80% to other forces; these forces are Emotional Intelligence”

- Daniel Goleman

Starbucks doesn’t sell coffee (no reasonable person would pay that much for just coffee).

Ask any Starbucks executive what they sell and they will tell you it is customer service.

So, what do you do if you are a Starbucks executive in charge of a $250 million dollar advertising budget, when one of your employees scribes the word “b**tch” (female dog) on a customer’s cup rather than her name?

Continue to imagine that after this experience this customer goes home, calls the local TV station, changes into a lovely blue blouse and meets the news reporter in front of your Starbucks store to tell the world the story.

I assure that this story will get replayed for more often than anything you paid for with your $250M budget.

What do you do?

Starbucks

Starbucks decided to train its employees in Emotional Intelligence. Read more…

4 Things I Learned from “Happy”

“Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both, and you won’t have to hunt for happiness.”

-William E. Gladstone

As I mentioned in a previous post, my wife is on bed rest, 36 weeks pregnant with the next Fowler (modified bed rest at this time – thank you Lord!).

As a deliberate battle against the overwhelm of undone tasks one experiences with two young children and a wife on bedrest, I decided we should watch movies while the girls nap on Saturdays.

So far, the only complete movie we’ve watched is The Nutty Professor – it was a worthy choice (kudos to Jill).

But, as we were perusing the list of free Amazon Prime movies this past weekend, I stumbled upon this movie – and I can’t stop recommending it to people!

(Disclosure: Jill and I have not actually watched this film together, but plan to. We ended up watching multiple episodes of the Big Bang Theory instead – who knew that TV show plays almost continuously on weekends? I had to get up at 5am and watch “Happy” from the bike trainer!)

Here is what I learned from this great film.

happy

I love the positive psychology movement and this movie is a documentary that explores the findings of the movement to see who are the happiest people in the world and why.

I learned a lot from this very entertaining film, but here are my top 4 take aways.  Read more…

How Starbucks Trains Its People

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

-Aristotle

Starbucks has been very successful. Below are a few facts:

  • Starbucks has grown by an average of two stores per day for the last 27 years,
  • Starbucks plan to add 1,000 stores in China alone next year,
  • Starbucks spends more on employee healthcare than coffee beans, and…
  • Starbucks stock is worth over 23x what it sold for in 1992.

They’ve done good, real good!

Why? Great people and amazing training!

Keep reading to find out how Starbucks trains its partners to deliver an amazing experience every time.

Starbucks

From the beginning, Starbucks recognized the value of the customer experience.

Without a great experience, why would anyone pay that much for coffee? Read more…